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Wales vs France: the experts' view

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2010-03-12

France head to Cardiff as strong favourites, but knowing full well that over-confidence could cost them dearly. Former French international Didier Camberabero, BBC Wales rugby commentator Gareth Charles and a French rugby journalist have their say.

"France must disrupt the Welsh game". Didier Camberabero (pictured), France’s fly-half between 1982 and 1991, 36 caps.

France are strong favourites, but they must be careful. When we are favourite, we tend to lose; and when we are outsiders we win. As always in rugby, the rule will be: defend and conquer. To win in Wales, our staff used to tell us we had to make sure the Welsh couldn't “sing”, or in other words, play. That’s what the French must do: disrupt their opponents' game and prevent them from taking hold of the match.
 

"France are better disciplined". Gareth Charles, BBC Wales rugby presenter.

Andy Powell has not played great in the last games. He could just as well have been dropped from the squad. He is more a number 8 player than a number 6, and the post is better suited to Jonathan Thomas.

If Wales play to their best they could win the game. But they will have to give a good start. If they begin like they did against Scotland and England, it will be very hard to win. On the other side, France are an excellent team this year, the best of the tournament so far. Marc Lièvremont has tried many different players and he now has a much improved team, not only physically and mentally, but also in terms of discipline. But they will sure miss Pascal Papé and Fulgence Ouedraogo.
 



“Wales will feel the loss of Andy Powell”. Jérôme Prévot, journalist at rugby weekly 'Midi Olympique'

France are the clear favourites of this game against Wales. Though Julien Pierre is yet to start an international, the French bench has strength in depth. Julien Malzieu or Julien Bonnaire are world-class players, it shouldn’t find it difficult to get into the game. On the other hand, Wales will miss Andy Powell, a key player in their squad. Warren Gatland’s men will rely instead on their back row. They will be looking for a quick try to get an early lead, because I don’t think they can repeat the kind of comeback they managed against Scotland.


 

Date created : 2010-02-25

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